A short review of the Sennheiser HD380 pro

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Edi M, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. Edi M

    Edi M New Member

    My experience with headphones is not extensive, but i have had the chance to make a few meaningful comparisons in the last few years(Sennheiser PXC-200, HD218, HD228, HD238, HD555, Grado SR60i, and a few other) and i trust my ears. My current main headphones is a pair of HD380(pro) from Sennheiser. Given my previous experience with sennheisers, this is probably not a coincidence. My ears agree with the sennheiser sound signature and i have been very pleased about their build quality- they last a lot longer than a pair of average headphones from sony/panasonic. Some models have cable issues, like the HD2XX series, but they are easy to fix at home.

    Back to the HD380. These are comfortable enough to wear all day without having side effects(ears sweating, headaches etc) and are built to last- i know this because i wear them at least 7 hours every day at home- i even sleep with them on. The only things that bug me is the fact that the coil cable does manage to get tangled at times and it takes some patience to fix this and also, lately the cable started coming out of the headphone end. Fortunately the cable is replaceable, although the replacement is not very cheap or easy to find in my case. I guess i can always make my own cable ^_^

    Comfort wise, they are not quite as comfy as the HD5XX series, but i would rate them higher than say, the Grado SR60i. Sound wise, they can be regarded as the opposite of the Grados. The sound is laid back and neutral. They never get tiring to listen to like the Grados did and sound good no matter what source you use. I use them on my laptop, phone, cassette deck, amp, whatever. They are not picky about that, unlike other headhones.

    The sound i get from these is probably less revealing and with a lesser wow factor than what you would get from a HD5XX series, but because these are closed headphones, they isolate better and as a consequence are more versatile. Outside noise ruins the experience you get from a quality pair of headphones, so sacrificing a bit of definition to get better isolation is worthwhile. Noise-cancelation is an option and i have been impressed by some models, but they have their own issues. Passive noise isolation is better if you can get it.
    Voice reproduction is pretty good, not very airy like the case with open-backs, but good enough for all intended purposes(remember these are studio headphones).

    Bass response is as expected- the HD380 does not have a bass extension like other headphones, but don`t let that fool you. They are not "light" in the sound/bass department, they deliver true bass response in accordance to the input they get. They can be driven without issues from a phone(i prefer my xperia M2) and still get solid bass without becoming bloated at any point.

    I should probably have started this review by stating the fact that the HD380 pro will most likely not appeal to hipsters or young people in general because they are big and kind of ugly(i prefer the term "different"). I personally do not mind this and wear them with pride on trains and plane rides. They do fold which is important and are not difficult at all to carry in a small bag. When a kid starts screaming in the plane you`il be glad to have these around (=^.^=)

    Not much to add to this personalized review. For general all round use, it would be difficult to beat the HD380 pro. There are lots of other specialized models that suit a particular need, but i can`t afford having multiple pairs of headphones right now and i also get annoyed when swapping them because every headphone has a slightly different sound signature. It took me a couple of weeks before my ears tuned-in to the sound of the HD380 pro, but now i wouldn`t trade them for anything else and i`m much less curious about trying other models. These will suffice for my needs.

    I`m not going to post any pictures since all my headphones are worn-out to the point of destruction so they don`t make much of an impression, but there plenty of comparative pictures online. Price wise, i think the HD380 pro can be had for around 120 dollar/euro, but you can have them for much less than that if you buy them used. They are pretty bullet proof but keep in mind that getting cable/pads replacements can be a bit expensive or difficult, depending on where you live.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018


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  2. keilau

    keilau AK Member

    Windy City
    The headphone selection and preference is a very personal choice. Some prefer exciting sound with punchy bass and bright high. Sennheiser HD380PRO is one of those phone. Seeing how the Apple's Dr. Dre and Bose dominate the mid priced headphone market, it shows that many music listeners preferred punchy, boomy bass over natural sounding responses.

    I have been a Sennheiser user for over 20 years. In 2013, I purchased a Sennheiser HD380Pro thinking that it should be safe to get smooth, nature response sound from it. I was very disappointed that the Senn380 response curve is V-shape with a boomy bass. See all the good reviews on low end Grado and Technica, I suspect that a boomy bass sells headphone. Sennheiser had to respond to the market. I sold the Sennheiser 380Pro easily on ebay.

    I have been using a Sennheiser HD-600 and like its very natural sounding with a tight, but not exaggerated bass. For around $100, the Sennheiser HD-598 is a very good choice with a flat response. Again, this preference is a personal choice.
    musichal and olderroust like this.

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